I’m no certified optometrist, so anything I recommend here should absolutely be taken with a grain of salt at best.
With that said, I wanted to write this blog post primarily to those of you who spend a fair amount of time staring at a computer screen every day and are concerned about the health of your eyes.
I’ve struggled for my entire life with poor eyesight, hypermyopia to be clinically accurate. Furthermore, my eyes are often dry, forcing me to use eyedrops frequently. If this sounds like you, here are some tips/best practices I’ve come to realize over the years.
Practice the 20-20-20 method
As described by blogger Amit Agarwhal, the 20-20-20 method can be summarized as follows:
The 20-20-20 rule suggest that after every 20 minutes, you (the computer user) should take a break for at least 20 seconds and look at objects that are 20 feet away from you.
To help you remember when to take breaks, there are applications you can use. On my Mac, I currently use BreakTime, which displays a popup at regular intervals to remind me to take a break from the computer. The neat thing with this application is that it allows you to customize the time intervals between breaks as well as the length of each break. For Windows users, try Workrave.
Use Instapaper and Readability for better web article viewing
Both Instapaper and Readability are great for saving articles you’ll probably never read. I think the two services don’t get enough credit for their ability to transform a cluttered, unreadable web page, into a beautiful and clean reading experience.
My current display settings utilize relatively narrow margins for faster scanning, large fonts to minimize squinting, and a black text on a tan background color scheme.
Use f.lux to adjust your monitor at night
This is probably the most important tip on this list.
f.lux is an app that adjusts the tint of your monitor’s display according to the time of the day. Its magic kicks in at night when the sun has long gone down and you’re left staring at the same blue, back-lit screen as you were during the day. f.lux changes your screen’s color scheme to a softer orange tint. The effect is not so immediate the first couple of times until you toggle f.lux on/off to compare the difference. Believe me, you will want f.lux running at all times after you’ve seen it for yourself.
Take your reading to a Kindle or other E-ink capable device
There is currently no scientific proof that e-ink technology is better for your eyes than your LCD computer monitor. But if you had to choose between reading Way & Peace on your MacBook Air or your Kindle, which would you choose?
I rest my case.
Save thy eyes?
Well, I hope some of these tips proves beneficial to your eye’s health. I’d love to hear some of your advice on best practices to keeping your eyes sharp throughout the day.